SUWA’s work involves keeping a close eye on proposed development projects in the backcountry, participating in land use planning processes, challenging bad land management decisions, and advocating for Utah wilderness in Congress.

Learn more about the issues we’re working on:

  • America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act: Developed by citizen volunteers, America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act calls for the protection of more than 8 million acres of Utah’s wild desert landscapes.
  • Bears Ears National Monument: Designated in December of 2016, Bears Ears encompasses more than 100,000 archaeological and cultural sites and is America’s first truly Native American national monument.
  • Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument: Over the last 20 years, Grand Staircase-Escalante has claimed its place as a crown jewel equal to Utah’s national parks while revealing a treasure trove of startling paleontological discoveries.
  • Off-Road Vehicles: ORV use has skyrocketed in Utah, leading to scarred landscapes, degraded wildlife habitat, increased looting of archaeological sites, and vanishing backcountry solitude.
  • Energy Development: Studies show that Utah’s redrock wilderness holds less than 4 weeks of natural gas and 1 week of oil supplies for the nation, yet oil and gas development remains a constant threat to Utah’s wild lands.
  • Section 202 Wilderness Study Areas: The Biden administration should assert the Bureau of Land Management’s authority to designate new “Wilderness Study Areas” pursuant to § 202 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA).
  • Hoax Highways (RS 2477): A legal loophole from the 1860s known as Revised Statute 2477 (or RS 2477) still threatens to fragment Utah’s wilderness lands with a sprawling network of “hoax highways.”
  • Climate Change & Wilderness: According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the American Southwest, including Utah, will be ground zero for some of climate change’s most significant impacts in North America.
  • Land Use Planning: Every 15-20 years the Bureau of Land Management is required by law to update the land use plans that guide agency staff in the management of our public lands. These plans affect everything from oil and gas drilling and off-road vehicle routes to wilderness and archaeological resources.